Our NFL Nation reporters answer fantasy football questions every Tuesday during the NFL season. Here’s what they had to say following a Week 2 that was full of comebacks.
Is it too early to call the preseason hope on Travis Etienne Jr. overdone, or will he assume more work with time?
It’s a little early. Etienne has 18 touches in two games, but head coach Doug Pederson is still working through getting the ball distributed to the playmakers. His philosophy is to exploit matchups as much as possible, so there will be games when Etienne is more involved. However, we saw Sunday that he can be a big factor in the screen game, which is something with which the Jaguars have struggled over the past decade. Look for that to continue. — Mike DiRocco
Seventeen targets one week, 12 yards the next. What happened to Davante Adams in seemingly a perfect matchup against Arizona?
That’s the $140 million question, isn’t it? Credit the Cardinals for covering Adams a certain way but when it comes to crunch time, college bestie Derek Carr simply has to find him, right? One snap before Hunter Renfrow’s game-ending fumble, Carr did try to hit Adams deep but threw behind him, and the pass was nearly picked off. There’s a fine line between having trust in your wideout, the best receiver in the league, mind you, and forcing it. So to go from 17 targets to 12 yards, the truth is somewhere in between. And in the playing and performing. Adams, who had family at the game to watch him play in person in the NFL for the first time, was not happy after the game, bolting from the locker room before the media was allowed in. Expect an angry Adams to be fed more in Tennessee, then. — Paul Gutierrez
A sub-65% snap share in consecutive weeks for Austin Ekeler. Developing trend or something to dismiss?
Developing trend. The Chargers have made a point to build depth behind Ekeler so that the sixth-year pro doesn’t have to shoulder the entire load. Joshua Kelley demonstrated improvement through training camp, and Sony Michel is a trusted veteran option. — Lindsey Thiry
Are you buying Tyler Higbee as the target vacuum he has been through two weeks?
Yes, but only until the Rams have a reliable third receiver on the field again. The Rams like to play in 11 personnel and with wide receiver Van Jefferson still recovering from a knee surgery during training camp, they’ve been using a combination of Ben Skowronek and Brandon Powell alongside Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson. Head coach Sean McVay said last week that Jefferson is “making great progress” in his rehab and “when they give us the thumbs up, he’ll be out there and he’ll be ready to roll.” When Jefferson is back, I expect Higbee’s targets to decrease. — Sarah Barshop
Consecutive games with a big play for Jaylen Waddle. How much has the acquisition of Tyreek Hill changed his role, and should we continue to expect big plays?
Hill obviously earned a lot of the fanfare this offseason, but Waddle quietly had an excellent training camp. It’s not just the addition of Hill; the addition of coach Mike McDaniel has put Waddle in position to succeed. He’s being used on the outside rather than the slot and of course, defenses cannot key on him like they could last season. He won’t get 19 targets every week, but he’s more of a 1B than a No. 2 in this offense. — Marcel Louis Jacques
What should we make of the 13 targets Chris Olave saw?
Consider it an anomaly for now, as Jarvis Landry led Saints receivers with nine targets the week before (but was fourth with five targets Sunday) and Alvin Kamara was not playing. Olave will definitely be involved every week, but outside of Michael Thomas, none of the receivers are a surefire fantasy play until the true pecking order is established with the quarterback. — Katherine Terrell
Can Saquon Barkley be an “elite” RB like he was in Week 1 with consistency behind this offensive line, or are we going to get a few more duds like Week 2?
Wow, the bar really rose after Week 1. If 88 total yards is a dud, Barkley is in good shape. Also, he had five carries for 3 yards in the first half. He had 16 rushes for 69 yards in the second half, the second straight week a chunk of his production came after halftime. The bottom line is that Barkley again looked good and is healthy. As long as he remains healthy, he will be elite. — Jordan Raanan
Garrett Wilson’s performance: a sign of things to come or the result of a rare Jets game that saw 61 total points scored?
Wilson has the talent to be the WR1 and post big fantasy numbers on a regular basis, but there’s a variable that could impact him — the QB situation. The Jets will make the inevitable change to Zach Wilson. It will happen in a week or two. He will be rusty from having missed several weeks, and he doesn’t push the ball downfield as well as Flacco. In other words, there could be a dip in the passing production when Wilson returns. — Rich Cimini
Which players should we move up in our rest-of-season rankings if this is Jimmy Garoppolo’s offense to lead?
The 49ers are still going to be a run-heavy team, but the beauty of Garoppolo being back in the saddle is there is plenty of data to mine to see who has benefited from him most. Heading that list is receiver Deebo Samuel, who had a record-breaking season with Garoppolo in 2021 and is best equipped to take the throws Garoppolo is best at — intermediate crossers, digs and slants — and turn them into big plays. Tight end George Kittle would also fall into that category once he returns from his groin injury, something that could happen as soon as Week 3. — Nick Wagoner
Consecutive huge games for Carson Wentz: more the result of favorable scheduling or something actionable for fantasy managers?
The Jags’ defense looked pretty good against the quarterback who replaced Wentz in Indy. And Detroit tested the Commanders in a way others haven’t and might not in terms of pressure. So it’s not just about who they’ve faced, it’s about a quarterback who is playing pretty well. They do play Philadelphia, Dallas and Tennessee in the next three weeks, so it won’t be easy. The loss to Detroit featured an ugly half of football — and then also highlighted how good this offense can be as it scored 27 points in the second half. Wentz has made his mistakes, but his arm has helped the Commanders be explosive, allowing them to use every inch of the field in ways they haven’t done in a long time. And the key for Wentz is that with receivers Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson, a big play is never too far off against any team. — John Keim